Africa, Europe relation must focus on trade, investment -Pres

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on Africa and Europe to review its co-operation to focus primarily on trade and investment.

According to him, “the time has come for Europe and Africa to build a sustainable and strategic partnership that ensures prosperity for all.”

“We have set our sights high, and, to our friends in Europe, I urge you to join us in building a continent of prosperity with equal opportunities for all, which will safeguard the environment against climate change.

“In as much as Africans need to move away from dependence and aid, Europeans, likewise, must abandon the mentality of ‘charity to the poor Africans’, that has tended to shape their relationships with Africa,” the President said.

He was speaking in Germany on Wednesday at the opening of the North Rhine-Westphalia Academy for International Affairs which focuses on fostering research at the highest level and promote the growth of international and interdisciplinary networks.

President Akufo-Addo explained that Europe could play a significant role in the strategic partnership for shared prosperity by supporting the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

With the AfCFTA linking 54 markets, covering 1.2 billion people, into a single market, he said, the AfCFTA was the world’s largest free trade area outside of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) adding that, by 2050, it would cover an estimated 2.5 billion people, and have over a quarter of the world’s working age population.

“Imagine the investment and business opportunities offered by the infrastructure required to link these markets more effectively. And imagine the business opportunities that this huge market would offer for manufacturing and service firms from European countries that would establish production facilities in Africa to serve the African markets. And with the accelerated growth that would result from all these, the market opportunities for exporters from European countries could be truly amazing!” he added.

Earlier, Ghana signed an agreement with the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, in Germany to deepen co-operation in seven specific areas for the benefits of both state.

The areas are non-governmental, not-for-profit, and private-sector organisations; diaspora organisations; religious organisations of all denominations; business corporations; local councils; educational establishments; and GIZ development agency.

The Agreement, which was signed by Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, and the Minister-President for North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, was in line with the principles and goals set out in the United Nations’ Agenda 2030 and the Agenda 2063 of the African Union.

Among other things, universities of applied sciences and technical universities in the country would benefit from measures to enhance the organisation and profile of the new universities of applied sciences and assist in the creation of courses focusing on practice over theory.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration said, the two partners would consider training, promotion of business and job creation in growth sectors to be essential fields of cooperation.

It said the agreement would foster discussion and mutual exchange on the subjects of entrepreneurship, start-up support and the realisation of new labour-market potential.

The collaboration would also ensure a continuation of the decentralisation of the Ghana Revenue Authority, the steady flow of tax revenue and general good governance to improve tax mobilisation efficiency.

BY TIMES REPORTER

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